Side Effects of Pregnancy On You

Linea Nigra (Skin Pigmentation)

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You may find that during your pregnancy you develop a line running up your belly. It starts from your pubic area and runs to your belly button, or possibly above. This is known as the linea nigra and the first thing you need to know is that it is completely normal, and absolutely nothing to worry about.

What is linea nigra?

Linea nigra is a common skin pigmentation that usually becomes noticeable after the fourth month of pregnancy and, as with lots of other side effects of pregnancy, it's your hormones that are to blame again. In actual fact, this line probably existed before your pregnancy but you may not have noticed it as it would have been whitish in colour. Hormonal changes cause it to darken and become more visible, of course it also appears to be more obvious as your tummy becomes bigger and harder to miss. The line tends to become more prominent in women with darker skin. Pregnancy hormones frequently cause a number of skin anomalies from patches of discolouration on your face to darker freckles and areolas (the coloured skin around your nipple). The good thing about all of these is that they will fade in time and are usually gone, or at least significantly faded, within a few months of giving birth. In the meantime there is nothing that you can do to get rid of them, but protecting your skin from the sun will prevent them from becoming more prominent.

What does linea nigra mean for my pregnancy?

Officially, this darkening line means very little. Linea nigra represents no problems to either your health, or the health of your baby. However, if you ignore the scientists and listen to the old wives' tales then you might be interested to know that there is a belief that the linea nigra can identify the sex of your baby! The theory is that if the line runs only between your pubic area and your belly button, then you are having a girl, if the line extends above your belly button then you are having a boy. Now, whether or not you believe in these things, we bet you'll have another look at that line anyway!

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This internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult a doctor or other healthcare professional.